Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and the U.S. President, Barack Obama, announced that India and the United States have agreed to join forces on energy projects, among which shale gas and clean energy, on a press conference on Monday
The two countries will found a research and development center for clean energy in India, with a $5 million annual financial support for a period of five years from each party and an equivalent investment from the private sector.
Mr. Obama said: “We agreed to deepen our co-operation in pursuit of clean energy technologies, including the creation of a new clean energy research center here in India, and continuing our joint research into solar, biofuels, shale gas and building efficiency”. Furthermore, the initial fields for the research center would be “solar energy, second-generation bio-fuels and building efficiency,” announced the same statement.
Having one of the world’s lowest power consumption rates per capital, with a 165 GW of installed generation capacity, India set a daring target of 62,000 MW by March 2012. Approximately, two-thirds of the country’s electricity comes from thermal power sources, using, in particular, coal, gas and liquid fuel. India is searching alternative energy sources in order to meet the demand for electricity and reduce the power blackouts.
Hydro and nuclear-based electricity account for less than a quarter of India’s total power production. Its own oil exploration has provided insufficient flows, thus, the crude oil needs are met mainly through imports.
Following the agreement on shale gas, the United States will carry through studies on resources and, in collaboration with India, identification of areas with shale gas potential. Indian personnel will be trained in assessing the resources.